HOUSTON - The City of Houston will begin issuing citations to people who are not wearing a mask.
Mayor Sylvester Turner made the announcement on Monday afternoon.
"For months, we have focused on education and not citations. But now, I am instructing the Houston Police Department to issue necessary warnings and citations to anyone not wearing a mask in public if they do not meet the criteria for an exemption," Mayor Turner said.
Houston police officers will be issuing the warnings and citations to anyone not wearing a face-covering in public, as outlined in Texas Governor Greg Abbott's statewide mandatory mask order.
The citation comes with a $250 fine.
Only those meeting the right criteria will be exempt.
"Lives are at stake, so I am taking this step to save lives and slow the virus from spreading in the month of August," Turner wrote in a tweet.
Houston police will not respond to 9-1-1 calls about people not wearing masks.
On Monday, Houston also reported 1,104 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the city's total to 50,896. The city's death count increased by six to 478.